Illinois’ ‘Creepiest, Coolest Ghost Town’ is Actually a Prison
This prison is not only iconic for its look but because you may have seen it in your favorite TV show or movie.
My first recollection of this place dates all the way back to when I was a kid. It was open then but eventually closed up for good in 2002.
Thrillist also thinks it's The Creepiest, Coolest Ghost Town in Every State, and they're talking about Old Joliet Prison.
No, it’s not a city. But it might as well be: There are 20 buildings within these forbidden walls just outside of Chicago, giving it a sinister, castle-like aurora...Notorious murder clown John Wayne Gacy was probably the most notorious resident, but the facility raised its profile even higher as a Blues Brothers filming location.
That's exactly the first thing I think of too when I hear Old Joliet Prison. It's John Belushi playing Jake Blues walking out of Old Joliet at the beginning of Blues Brothers.
That's not the only time the prison made its way to TV or movies. Shows like Prison Break, Derailed, Empire, and Let's Go to Prison all used Old Joliet in one-way shape or form according to Jolietprison.org.
Thrillist says the prison was built in 1858 "by convict labor with limestone quarried on-site."
Today, the prison is open for tours. At first, I was skeptical, thinking "Who would want to see the inside of a prison?" Then I remembered, I paid to see the inside of Alcatraz, so I guess it could happen.
As far as haunts? Well, for the first time in 2021, Old Joliet Prison is being turned into a haunted house.
Touted as Chicagoland’s first and only haunted house inside real abandoned prison, the Old Joliet Haunted Prison is located in the annex building at 401 Woodruff Road in Joliet. Believed to be haunted since closing its door in 2002, the grounds and interior of the prison will be transformed into a haunted house.
If you want to check it out, get tickets HERE.